That total farce in the rematch only re-enforces my opinion. Liston was not only crime connected, his dismay at loosing his crown may have created the situation wherein he was "eliminated" by forces in organized crime if he had started to make noise about the bouts being "fixed". Liston, while a felon was never a heroin user in the past, couldn't face needles (he fainted) and declined to leave the US because he would need to be vaccinated with preventative shots for European travel. He didn't overdose on injected heroin. He was probably trying to do a bit of "blackmail" extortion on his mob handlers after he realized he had been taken.
He wasn't in the same class as Clay/Ali as a boxer, the man was too fast, and these fights could have easily been completely legit, but Sonny did things he never did in the past. He "chased", rather than cut off and corner his opponent like he did to Patterson or fight in the middle of the ring. It could be frustration being exhibited by Liston, but it could also be the "make the dive" seem real to the fans and bookies to take the big pay-day.
Personally I think Liston was just over-matched in speed and elusive tactics and punched himself out trying to take out Ali, and missing the shot.
Sonny Liston vs Cassius Clay : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
Here is a link the rematch in Lewiston Maine in 1965, and even worse example of pro-boxing after Ali had taken his Muslim name and abandoned his "slave name".
Edited by brndirt1, 06 February 2012 - 10:35 PM.